Should I Brush my Hair Wet or Dry?

Brushing your hair is a no-brainer, right? Well, it may be trickier than you think, especially if you’re not factoring your hair type into the equation. We usually just grab a brush and go nuts but some hair types are better brushed wet while others should be brushed dry. So, which one is the right option for you?

Brush Straight Hair Dry

Wet hair is much more fragile than dry hair, because moisture makes it more elastic. As you tug those tangles with your brush or comb, this stretching increases your chances of breakage. When your hair is dry, it doesn’t have the same level of elasticity, so it is much less prone to damage. This is why straight hair is best brushed when it’s dry.

Straight hair doesn’t tend to tangle as much as curly hair since its cuticles lay flat. It tends to be oilier as well, which helps to prevent tangling. For these reasons, brushes slide through the hair with little resistance, even when bone-dry.

How to Brush Straight Hair

To brush straight hair, follow the below instructions:

  • Purchase a paddle brush with soft bristles.

  • Start a few inches from the tips of your dry hair, brushing the ends until no knots remain.

  • Then move up an inch or two at a time, combing out the tangles before moving up again.

  • Continue this method until your reach the scalp.

  • Brush through the whole length of your hair a few times and you’re done.

Brush Curly Hair Wet

Although wet hair is somewhat weaker when it is wet, it is much easier to brush wet curls than dry curls. Wet curls are weighed down and looser, enabling you to remove tangles with ease.

Begin detangling your curls in the shower and follow the below steps:

  • Shampoo as usual, then add your favorite moisturizing or detangling conditioner.

  • Work it in until the hair is slick and smooth.

  • Use your fingers or a detangling brush to remove your knots. Start at the ends of your hair and work your way up a bit at a time. Be gentle to avoid stretching and breaking those delicate strands.

  • Once the knots are gone, brush your hair through once more

  • Rinse the conditioner from your hair.

After showering, squeeze your hair with a towel to remove the excess moisture. Add some leave-in conditioner or hair oil and brush it through again with your detangling brush before styling.

How to Minimize Breakage When You Brush Your Hair

To minimize breakage when you brush your hair, be gentle. Don’t try to force those tangles out. Doing so could cause damage and breakage or pull the hairs right out of your scalp.

Don’t over-brush your hair, either. It doesn’t need to be brushed every hour. Too much brushing can cause damage to your hair, pulling out more of it than you might expect. Brush twice a day if your hair is straight and once or twice every wash day if your hair is curly.

We all need to brush our hair now and then to keep it free of tangles. But, of course, not all brushing techniques work for every hair type. Those with straight hair should stick with dry brushing while those with curls need to wet their curls beforehand. Use the right method and your hair will thank you.

Author: Andrea Reyes

Andrea is a mother, wife, writer, and natural hair enthusiast of 15 years. Currently on her natural hair journey, she’s been trying countless products and techniques to understand and embrace her natural hair. She is the creator of, a new website featuring informative articles that share tips, tricks, and techniques aimed to help others learn to love their hair through proper hair care. She writes with the hope of making hair care easier to understand and implement.

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